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Ford, Lincoln, & Mercurcy Consolidate Marketing Departments: Why Not?

Posted in auto industry, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Newsworthy by Suzanne Denbow | August 4th, 2008 | 1 Response |

In Step #435 of Ford’s plan to salvage the financial wreckage, Ford announced its plans to combine the sales and marketing departments for its three automobile lines, Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury.

The marketing shifts will call for the elimination¬†of brand-specific marketing departments and will instead differentiate by car type [ie: sedan, SUV, etc]. The expected change is a part of the budget-trimming plan Ford announced in June which calls for a 15% reduction in white-collar staff. Proving that lay-offs aren’t just for the little people, among the employees turning in their pass-keys are some surprisingly heavy-hitters including both Mark Kaline and Michael Sprague. Kaline, Ford’s global media manager, was on-board for 11 years before a recent curtailment of worldwide auto sales/promotions caught him in the cross-hairs. Sprague, the head of marketing for both Lincoln and Mercury, left for the Kia Motors marketing department after 12 years with Ford.

Although probably a wise move in the interest of penny-pinching, the decision to economize really isn’t going to help distinguish the three brands as separate entities. Despite painstaking efforts by Ford in the past to create individual identities for the three lines, to the average consumer they’re still fairly interchangeable and this new plan isn’t going help much.

[Source: Automotive News]

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  1. Wilson Wright says:

    Ford/Lincoln/Mercury might as well abolish their marketing departments because the sales people have no idea how to impliment the plan.

    I’d write Ford marketing but can’t find them on line…So I’ll tell you.

    Back in December marketing offered “Employee Pricing and a $2,500 ( I think ?) rebate…Enough to get me in the dealership where I have bought five prior Lincolns over the past 10-12 years. The salesman who sold me my last two cars was not there but the man meeting me at the door says he is his partner and my guy will get the credit or commission..

    “Let’s go outside and look at the cars”, he says. It is cold and rainy and all Lincolns drive alike…and even if they don’t my mind is already made up to buy a Lincoln, if I buy anything…Not good enough..We gotta go out in the cold and wet…He shows me the sticker price on each…

    “Just tell me within a couple of thousand what it will cost to trade.” I said.
    Well it happens I’m not driving the Lincoln at that mement. “Well we need to se it.” he says. I told him the service manage whom I know pretty well…or better he knows the car could describe it. The corker…”You want to trade today ?” Will that change the price I ask ..No answer…Well he says, if we had a Kelly Blue book we might get an idea of your cars worth, he says….”I’m sure you have one I offered.” Well if he did he wasn’t willing to go look for it…

    So I left a little ticked at their reaction…I was the only one in there and cars didn’t seem to be flying off the shelf…

    The salesman I went to see apparently never got the message, because tere never has been a follow up phone call to say, “Sorry I missed you…Come in Let’s make a deal.”

    Oh and I’m still driving the 2005 Lincoln…So while marketing did their job and got me in the show room…Sales did just as good a job in running me off.

    Another expensive marketing piece came today offering me a $750. rebate…It went in the trash.

    Wilson Wright Tallahassee.